The week in business tech – 24/10/2014

Brid-Aine Parnell

Friday 24 October 2014

In this week’s tech news, Google and venture capitalists back “augmented reality” firm with over half a billion dollars, scammers exploit Ebola panic. Meanwhile, Facebook avoids paying corporation tax in the UK, Yahoo fights back against activist investors and is this the end of the landline?

Could this be magic?

Google and prominent tech venture capitalists have contributed to a $542m funding round for Magic Leap, the highly secretive “augmented reality” company that has yet to reveal anything concrete about its product.

Scummy scammers prey on Ebola panic

Cybercriminals and scammers are preying on the public’s fear of the Ebola outbreak by sending them malware in emails that claim to contain safety tips from the World Health Organisation and other official sources. What the victim actually gets is a DarkComet Remote Access Trojan, which can hide from antivirus software and access files, webcams and passwords on their computer.

Harassment rampant online

Around three-quarters of Americans say they have witnessed online harassment and 40 per cent have actually experienced it themselves, with young adults and particularly women disproportionately targeted on the internet.

Facebook may face fresh anger over taxes

The social network’s latest results in the UK show that it has paid no corporation tax for the second year in a row while handing out shares worth tens of millions of pounds to London staff and earning hundreds of millions in revenue.

Yahoo! Revenue actually grew!

Yahoo has seen the first upward creep in revenue in some time, with growth of one per cent, but chief Marissa Mayer is still battling activist investors that think the firm should be doing more to give back to shareholders, especially after its Alibaba windfall. 

The end of the landline is nigh

One in four Britons can’t dredge up their own phone number for a reward of £50 as the landline becomes just a way to get a broadband contract. Only a fifth of people regularly use them to call out, with half of the population saying they only had one so they could get online.

Building the next-gen data centre

Where traditional and web-scale apps co-exist